|Leicester Tigers welcomed supporters to Welford Road on Tuesday May 2 for its annual end of season player awards evening, sponsored by courier and logistics company and official partner, DX Group.
Freddie Burns was named Player of the Year and young prop Ellis Genge was a double winner on the night, picking up Young Player of the Year and Best Newcomer awards.
Telusa Veainu’s memorable solo try against Worcester Warriors at Welford Road earlier this year was chosen as Try of the Season – an award that was voted for by guests on the night after watching highlights of the teams shortlisted tries.
Other winners included Dan Cole, who picked up the Outstanding Service award and Leicester Tigers Wheelchair Rugby Team, picking up the #TigersFamily award.
Supporters enjoyed a three-course meal in the Premiership suite in the company of the players and team management.
Throughout the night there were also live Q&A’s with key figures at the club including head coach Matt O’Connor and assistant coach Geordan Murphy, players; Mathew Tait, JP Pietersen, Owen Williams – and an especially warm reception for the retiring Marcos Ayerza, at his final awards evening after 11 seasons at the club.
On his Player of the Year award win, Freddie Burns, who is in his final season at Leicester Tigers after threeseasons with the club, said: “I am extremely proud. It’s great to get an accolade like this. I’d like to thank the boys for their hard work through the season and the supporters, to receive an award like this is a great feeling. We have a big game this week against Worcester and hopefully we can push on.”
Ellis Genge, who has just agreed new contract terms with Tigers and earned a place in the England squad for the tour to Argentina this summer with his form this season, added: “From playing in the Championship last year to taking the step up to come here, I think I’ve developed as a player and learned a lot from the class players around me. I’m enjoying it here. It means a lot to pick up these awards from the supporters.”
Outstanding Service recipient Cole has earned selection for a second British & Irish Lions tour this summer and has 74 caps for England as well as making more than 170 appearances for Tigers since his debut for his hometown club in 2007/08.
The Tigers Wheelchair Rugby Team, represented by David and Kate Needham, received the #TigersFamily Award which recognised the broad appeal of the Tigers as well as the dedication and commitment of supporters and the people who interact with the club within the community.
Tigers head into their last match of the season this weekend (Saturday May 6, 4pm kick off) against Worcester Warriors chasing a play-off place. The Aviva Premiership play-off semi-finals and final will take place on the weekends of May 20 and May 27.